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William Hales Hingston (1875-1877)

William Hales Hingston was born 29 June 1829 in Hinchinbrook Township, Lower Canada. Doctor and surgeon, he was mayor of Montréal from 1875 to 1877. He died 19 February 1907 in Montréal.

He studied medicine at McGill College in Montréal and graduated in 1851. He went to Europe to continue his education and returned in 1854 with his diploma in surgery.

Doctor Hingston had an exceptional career in Montréal. His reputation as a surgeon was even international. He worked at the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal where he showed great dexterity and audacity in his operations. He cofounded the Faculty of Medicine of Bishop’s College in Montréal. He then teached at the Montréal School of Medicine and Surgery, which merged with the medical faculty of the Montréal branch of the Université Laval.

William Hingston’s contribution to the city constitutes a valuable heritage. Under his administration, medical conditions greatly improved throughout the city. In 1876, mayor Hingston reorganized the health department by transforming it into a permanent organization. He was able to attract a greater number of qualified doctors, all willing to contribute to an in-depth reform of the city’s medical organization.

Doctor Hingston was very appreciated by his fellow citizens. At the time of the smalpox epidemic from 1872 to 1875, he was in the forefront to take care of the sick people. He was also there during the other epidemic of 1885.

He was a brave man. On September 1875, over 3000 angry citizens showed up at city hall to protest against obligatory vaccination. Doctor Hingston faced the crowd and managed to appease it. His moral authority was impressive.

See : Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online


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